Daylesford's 'Billy' goes for Platinum

DAYLESFORD trainer Mick Barby is targeting a Vicbred Platinum feature series with smart pacer It Is Billy.

Having quickly regained his best after a break, the five-year-old lines up in a $16,275 heat, 1720m, at Melton tomorrow night.

Barby is hoping It Is Billy can kick on to a $30,000 final on March 15. 

Although getting no favours with a wide draw over the short trip, It Is Billy showed he is ready to take his career to the next level after winning from the deathseat in 1:53.3 over the same journey at Melton on Friday.

His 10th win took his earnings past $50,000.

It Is Billy has had three starts since resuming, having contested a group 1 Vicbred Super Series four-year-old final last season.

Improved Allendale mare Union Belle, which strung together three wins on end earlier in her preparation, Cyrus and Royal Witness shape as the other main contenders in the M0 heat.

Barby followed up from It Is Billy’s win with trotting mare Miss Southern Land ($6.20) off 20m in a T2/better handicap, 2570m, at Geelong on Monday.

This puts the daughter of former smart trotting mare Miss Universe on the cusp of $50,000 in stakes.

DUNNSTOWN harness racing trainer-driver David Murphy is also enjoying a successful week.

Live and Learn scored in 1:56.2 in a 4yo/older pace final, 1720m, at Melton on Friday night and then trotter Super Zeck ($3.80) saluted for the stable at Cranbourne on Tuesday night.

A four-year-old entire, Super Zeck’s only previous win was on his home track in Ballarat in September last year.

Live And Learn ($16.50), which completed back-to-back wins, set up a running double for sire It Is I, which spent his racing career in Murphy’s care.

It Is Billy is also by It Is I. 

And to cap things off, Murphy drove Partnersinvancelot ($35.50) to victory for fellow Dunnstown horseman Rob McCartney in a 4yo/better pace, 1720m, at Melton on Sunday.

It was just the five-year-old’s second start for McCartney and first win since March last year.

GALLOPS joint trainers Barry and Glen James debut a new stable acquisition in Geelong today.

Steep is an acceptor for the Ballarat father and son combination in a $30,000 showcase benchmark handicap, 1200m. The four-year-old is also nominated for Sunday’s $70,000 Echuca Cup, 1400m.

Steep is a son of Shamardal and, like stablemate Isopach, was formerly trained by John Thompson for Patinack Farm. He has three wins in 14 starts, having won twice as a two-year-old, 

He has not, however, been involved in a race day since Canterbury in August last year.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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